Small Adventures: Art and a Workout

Little by little, one travels far.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Do you ever have a long weekend and somehow end up more behind at the end of it than you usually are after a normal weekend? Well, that was me on Easter weekend. And so here I am Monday night finally writing about last week’s adventure…

My office was closed for Good Friday, and I’d planned to spend the day biking along Highway 30a, a touristy beach area nearby. I’d made reservations and was so excited! Then bad weather rolled in and squashed that plan, so a friend and I decided at the last minute to sign up for a class at a local antique flea market kind-of place. DeFrance Antiques always has fun, original event ideas, and this regular one is pretty popular. You draw and paint a decorative sign, and get to a) bring wine, and b) choose what design you want to paint, so I picked a font and and design from a sign on their website and found a quote I wanted to use, filled an insulated coffee mug with wine, and off I went.

When we arrived we tied on frilly aprons and chose spots at the long table. Our instructor handed out the pieces of wood, large printed designs for each person, carbon paper, and pens, and started bringing out paint colors for us to try. We began by painting a background color on the bare wood; I applied a few loose swashes of my pale blue and left random areas free of paint. Once that was dry, we placed the printed quotes on the wood with carbon paper underneath, and traced the outlines of the words onto the background color. After that, we filled in the words with a different paint color, and used a third color to brush light shadowing on one side of the words.

When everything was dry again, I took a sander and roughed mine up a bit to distress the finish, then applied a coat of wax to bring out the color and seal it all in. My friend smudged her white background and glued on starfish. Writing this, it sounds pretty darn quick, but believe me when I tell you it was an intense 3 1/2 hours and we were working nonstop! When I’ve been so intent on any sort of creative endeavor, I’m exhausted and happy and feeling good at the end. So I slept very well that night, and it wasn’t (just) the wine!

I heart how these turned out!
Shelby and Mac, in it for the win!

The workout part came the next day, when McGraw and I decided to join my friend and her dog, Shelby, for a 5K run/walk for charity. The funds raised from Run for Joy go to benefit the Ronald McDonald house, and the race begins on the shady grounds of a neighborhood church. As we found our way through the gathering crowd towards the registration table, the dogs excitedly snuffled other dogs we passed, wondering what the heck we were doing. We picked up our race bibs and t-shirts, then took a look around at the tents housing silent auction items, crafts, freebies from local business sponsors, and piles of fruit and pastries. Then the loudspeaker directed us all to the starting line and we walked a short way to the edge of the bay, and the race started.

We were walking and not on a mission time-wise… but of course my 12-pound McGraw always heaves like a Malamute in the Iditarod so we kept a fairly quick pace. Our path took us along the bay and then wound back through the neighborhood, where it was mostly shady, breezy, and comfortable. The dogs’ tongues were soon dangling out of their mouths and the first water stop was a welcome one.

Woof! Catch that therapy pony!

Soon, we saw a tiny pony and its handler come up from behind and pass us. McGraw and Shelby woofed after they passed, and we watched the pony give a startled kick with its back legs. As we went by a dog barking through a fence a little later, the pony’s handler pulled him to the far side of the road. We caught up to them again before long, and chatted with the handler. She said he’s a therapy pony, and had a bad experience with a small dog biting his nose a while back, so she tries to expose him to dogs in safe situations such as this to grow his confidence with canines. At this point, both of our dogs were looking ready to collapse in some shade, so the little pony happily got to trot alongside two non-barking dogs.

As we reached the end and tore off the bottom of our bibs at the finish line, we picked up a drink coozy, poop-bag holder, and tennis ball, courtesy of the veterinary sponsor table, got some more water for everyone, and then walked past the live music to the car.

The beach exploration didn’t happen and plans got laid by the wayside, but two tired dogs and two creatively-expended, exercised ladies is the sign of a good adventure if you ask me!

Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.

Lovelle Drachman